Skip to comments.Nude women stage protest against Bush's "naked aggression" towards Iraq
Posted on 01/14/2003 11:57:31 PM PST by kattracks
A group of women in the free-wheeling US state of California have launched a cheeky nude peace campaign to protest President George W. Bush's "naked aggression" against Iraq in a bid to prevent a war.
Some 105 angry housewives, grandmothers and doctors between the ages of 22 and 83 are baring their souls -- and bodies -- in a series of "spelling bee" protests in which they spell out peace slogans using only their nude bodies.
The group, organized by 72-year-old artist Donna Sheehan, decided to take the radical action and form the "Baring Witness" movement after becoming frustrated that pacifists' voices were being drowned out by a clamour for war.
"We are doing the most dangerous thing that women could possibly do in public: becoming vulnerable by showing our bare bodies, which shows extreme courage, in order to try and avoid a bloody war with Iraq," she said.
"Women and many men are extremely frustrated at not being heard over this hostile aggression that the United States is pre-empting," she told AFP from her home in Marshall, California, just north of San Francisco.
Sheehan, who has set up artistic installations for other world events, including the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, said she and fellow peace activists had "had it" with their written please against war being ignored by the White House and decided to take action.
The protesters chose the attention-grabbing action of exposing themselves in public to get the attention of the Bush administration which appears to be on a collision course with Baghdad.
"What we really want is for Laura Bush to say to her husband, 'Hey honey, let's have a talk,' and to rein him in," she said.
The women have already posed in the buff for seven photographs in which they laid down on a beach and used their naked bodies to spell out the word "Peace" and on a hillside on a California ranch where they spelled "No War."
Around 25 men also joined the cheeky protest and posed separately for a similar photograph in which their bodies formed the international peace sign -- an upsidedown "Y"-like form in a circle.
"We are normal, modest women from all walks of life, in all shapes and sized with all our lumps and bumps who would not normally even take off our bathrobes in the house, but we wanted to make a point," Sheehan said.
"It a sad indictment on our society that the only way to make ourselves heard is to remove our clothing, but that's the way it is. People are looking for visual stimulus."
Sheehan said she stumbled upon the risque protest method after she dreamed in November that war with Iraq was imminent and then remembered that Nigerian women had threatened to disrobe to protest an oil company's behaviour.
Now she and her naked neighbours from the area that nurtured the 1960s hippie movement well into the 1970s, intend to continue their movement until the danger of conflict has subsided.
"These naked 'spelling bees' will continue. They'll be a bit like crop circles, popping up unexpectedly all over the place.
"Our flesh represents the flesh of those who will be lost in a war. We identify with the killing of innocents abroad and just want to stop it," she said.
And the idea appears to be catching on thanks to the power of E-mail, with similar protests taking place in Sussex, England, in the US states of Montana and Florida and with another being planned in Germany.
The women will also attend an international women's conference in Washington DC on March 8 to make their point outside the White House, she said.
While some people in the small communities near Marshall have complained of the immodest protest, Sheehan says most people understand and support the rolling demonstrations that are photographed by members of the movement.
"Some people have grumbled about what we do, but I ask them what's worse: naked aggression or just naked?
That, I absolutely guarantee, will cause their "Protest" to vanish like smoke (FBOW...)
If ever there were a case for age-capping, this is it....
But is it art?
The only thing funnier than an angry, naked woman,
is an aroused, naked man.
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